Cool Is So Not Cool8

Posted by Deirdre // 01-30-2013


Now that I’ve had some time to breathe, read a few good comments and reflect on yesterday’s post about Westchester vs Brooklyn, I feel the need for an addendum. It’s a great discussion – certainly worthwhile and fun, and I want to thank Lexi (a contributor, not an owner as I’d previously posted) and A Child Grows for bringing it to my attention and for the comments that followed. And while I stand by what I felt, I may not have expressed it so well (my husband did tell me I sounded like a bitch). I did know when hitting ‘publish’ that the post would ruffle some feathers – the city vs burbs discussions often do. I have no interest in writing a completely innocuous blog and do have a distinct point of view I want to express, but I also recognize that it may have been too much and I’m sorry if I offended anyone tremendously.

First of all, the “cool” discussion, as I said in one of the comments, is just annoying and I somewhat regret using that word.  The thing is, cool is different for everyone and that I recognize. And what you wear or have on your body does not make you cool or not cool, of course, any more than where you live.

Second, Westchester is a big place and certainly the entire county does not dress the same or even like the same things.

Third, I didn’t mean to single out Rye or the people who live there. The Starbucks comment came about because one Sunday we stopped there on the way home from a weekend away and literally every guy I saw had on a pair of khakis and a polo shirt of some sort, tucked in. Literally every one. Now does that mean all those guys are dull and all alike? No. Did it give me and my dirty jeans and t-shirts wearing husband pause? Yeah. It just didn’t seem like our scene – it felt monied and country-clubby. Doesn’t necessarily mean that all of it is, or that none of those guys – or women – are “cool” and we certainly couldn’t have judged it perfectly from a passing coffee.

As I said, one of the things I like about Brooklyn (and the city for that matter) is that I do feel that we have a lot of variety in types of people, including the way they dress. We have more choices and are exposed to more just by walking down the street (which one does so less in the burbs – reality). I have to agree with “Snowy” who posted in the Wee Westchester comments that, “The mix of people in the city, including the fedora-wearers, makes things interesting! If everyone looked the same and wore the same hats life would be boring.”

Bklyn Mom Michelle Williams in No. 6 clog boots via Design Blahg

Bklyn Mom Michelle Williams in the now ubiquitous No. 6 clog boots I love via Design Blahg

That said, does almost every mother in Park Slope – including yours truly – own Hunter boots or some sort of clog or both? Uh huh.

Personally, my husband and I decided a while ago that the burbs were not for us, because we have careers that don’t require being in the city every day for the long term. In addition, neither one of us ever lived in the suburbs, so it feels more foreign. So if we do move eventually it would likely be farther away, or somewhere in Brooklyn less onerously expensive as our elementary school zone. But again, Brooklyn isn’t perfect and if it was there would be no blog.

I get that the burbs are likely a destination for many of you for many reasons – close to family, close to the city, and for some of the things that Wee Westchester points out. Or maybe you just like it! All of which are reasons why I’ll continue to post about Westchester et al., and the things that many Brooklynites who have posted here and on the group are looking for – green and open space, a walkable downtown, diversity and culture.

Thanks for reading and keeping the (positive) discussion going!


3 Responses

  1. jason savage says:
    January 31st, 2013 at 9:26 am

    my brother doesn’t tuck his shirt in.

    kidding aside, it makes perfect sense to use Rye as symbolic of the more uptight side of Westchester, so I hear ya. If I sounded defensive on behalf of my brother, well, I love the big lunk and, hey, the guy who turned me on to Jackson Browne when I was 10 will always be cool, no?

    it’s a great discussion and I didn’t think you were singling out people or towns or getting nasty in the slightest

    while we’re on the subject, I have been reading a collection of Rick Moody essays and the book opens with his “Against Cool”, which is a wonderful dissection of the word and the concept in American culture. A guy from Fairfield County writing on Miles Davis and Ken Kesey? Wait a minute…….Ah, but he now lives in Brooklyn. So, wait, then……oh I give up.

    • Deirdre says:
      January 31st, 2013 at 9:35 am

      It’s exhausting. I think we should all give up. I will check out the Rick Moody though after my latest battle with Eugenides’s The Marriage Plot I think I’ll go for The Bloggess or maybe Tina Fey instead.

  2. Keren Bernard says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Brooklyn is COOL – let haters wear khakis to the grave!